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power and effect over the gross1 and mass of things; but they are rather gazed upon, and waited upon2 in their journey, than wisely observed in their effects, especially in their respective effects; that is, what kind of comet, for magnitude, colour, version3 of the beams, placing in the region of heaven or lasting, produceth what kind of effects.
There is a toy, which I have heard, and I would not have it given over, but waited upon a little. They say it is observed in the Low Countries (I know not in what part), that every five and thirty years, the same kind and sute4 of years and weathers comes about again; as great frosts, great wet, great droughts, warm winters, summers with little heat, and the like; and they call it the prime: it is a thing I do the rather mention, because, computing backwards, I have found some concurrence.
But to leave these points of nature, and to come to men. The greatest vicissitude of things amongst men, is the vicissitude of sects and religions; for these orbs rule in men's minds most. The true religion is built upon the rock; the rest are tossed upon the waves of time. To speak, therefore, of the causes of new sects, and to give some counsel concerning them, as far as the weakness of human judgment can give stay6 to so great revolutions.
When the religion formerly received is rent by discords, and when the holiness of the professors of religion is decayed and full of scandal, and withal8 the times be stupid, ignorant, and barbarous, you may doubt7 the springing up of a new sect; if then also there should arise any extravagant and strange spirit to make himself author thereof—all which points held when Mahomet published his law. If a new sect have not two properties, fear it not, for it will not spread: the one is the supplanting, or the opposing of authority established—for nothing is more popular than that; the other is the giving licence to pleasures and a voluptuous life: for as for speculative heresies (such as were in ancient times the Arians, and now the Arminians), though they work mightily upon men's wits, they do not produce any great alteration in States, except it be by the help of civil occasions. There be three manner of plantations of new sects—by the power of signs and miracles; by the eloquence and wisdom of speech and persuasion; and by the sword. For martyrdoms, I reckon them amongst miracles, because they seem to exceed the strength of human nature: and I may do the like of superlative and admirable holiness of life. Surely there is no better way to stop the rising of new sects and schisms than to reform abuses; to compound the smaller differences; to proceed mildly, and not with sanguinary persecutions; and rather to take off the principal authors, by winning and advancing them, than to enrage them by violence and bitterness.
1 Gross. The chief part; the main body. 'The gross of the people can have no other prospect in changes and revolutions than of public blessings.'—Addison. s Waited upon. Watched. See page 226.
* Version. Direction.
* Sute or suit. Order; correspondence. 'Touching matters belonging to the Church of Christ, this we conceive that they are not of one sute.'—Hooker. For our expression 'out of sorts/ Shakespere has 'out of sates.'
■' Stay. Check.
'With prudent stay he long deferred
* Withal. Likewise; besides.
'God, when He gave me strength, to shew withal,
1 Doubt. To fear; to apprehend. 'This is enough for a project without any name. I doubt more than will be reduced into practice.'—Swift.
The changes and vicissitudes in wars are many, but chiefly in three things; in the seats or stages of the war, in the weapons, and in the manner of the conduct. Wars, in ancient time, seemed more to move from east to west; for the Persians, Assyrians, Arabians, Tartars (which were the invaders), were all eastern people. It is true the Gauls were western; but we read but of two incursions of theirs—the one to Gallo-Graecia, the other to Rome; but east and west have no certain points of heaven, and no more have the wars, either from the east or west, any certainty of observation; but north and south are fixed; and it hath seldom or never been seen that the far southern people have invaded the northern, but contrariwise1— whereby it is manifest that the northern track of the world is in nature the more martial region—be it in respect of the stars of that hemisphere, or of the great continents that are upon the north; whereas the south part, for aught that is known, is almost all sea; or (which is most apparent) of the cold of the northern parts, which is that, which, without aid of discipline, doth make the bodies hardest, and the courage warmest.
1 Contrariwise. On the contrary. See page 93.
Upon the breaking and shivering of a great State and empire, you may be sure to have wars; for great empires, while they stand, do enervate and destroy the forces of the natives which they have subdued, resting upon their own protecting forces; and then when they fail also, all goes to ruin, and they become a prey; so it was in the decay of the Roman empire, and likewise in the empire of Almaigne,1 after Charles the Great, every bird taking a feather, and were not unlike to befall to3 Spain, if it should break. The great accessions and unions of kingdoms do likewise stir up wars; for when a State grows to an over power, it is like a great flood, that will be sure to overflow, as it hath been seen in the States of Rome, Turkey, Spain, and others. Look when the world hath fewest barbarous people, but such as commonly will not marry, or generate, except they know means to live (as it is almost everywhere at this day, except Tartary), there is no danger of inundations of people; but when there be great shoals of people, which go on to populate, without foreseeing means of life and sustentation,3 it is of necessity that once in an age or two they discharge a portion of their people upon other nations, which the ancient northern people were wont to do by lot—casting lots what part should stay at home, and what should seek their fortunes. When a warlike State grows soft and effeminate, they may be sure of a war; for commonly such States are grown rich in the time of their degenerating, and so the prey inviteth, and their decay in valour encourageth a war.
As for the weapons, it hardly falleth under rule and observation; yet we see even they have returns and vicissitudes; for certain it is, that ordnance was known in the city of the Oxydraces in India, and was that which the Macedonians called thunder, and lightning, and magic, and it is well known that the use of ordnance hath been in China above two thousand years. The conditions of weapons and their improvements are, first, the fetching1 afar off, for that outruns the danger, as it is seen in ordnance and muskets; secondly, the strength of the percussion, wherein likewise ordnance do exceed all arietations * and ancient inventions; the third is, the commodious use of them, as that they may serve in all weathers, that the carriage may be light and manageable, and the like.
1 Almaigne. Germing.
'Then I stoutly won in fight
3 Befall to (unusual with to). To happen.
'Some great mischief hath befallen
3 Sustentation. Support. 'He (Malcolm) assigned certain rents for the suttenlation of the canons he had placed there of the order of St. Augustine.— Uolimhed.
For the conduct of the war: at the first men rested extremely upon number; they did put the wars likewise upon main force and valour, pointing3 days for pitched fields/ and so trying it out upon an even match, and they were more ignorant in ranging and arraying their battles.5 After, they grew to rest upon number rather competent than vast, they grew to advantages of place, cunning diversions, and the like, and they grew more skilful in the ordering of their battles.
In the youth of a State, arms do flourish, in the middle age of a State, learning, and then both of them together for a time; in the declining age of a State, mechanical arts and merchandise. Learning hath his infancy, when it is but beginning, and almost childish; then his youth, when it is luxuriant and juvenile; then his strength of years, when it is solid and reduced;' and, lastly, his7 old age, when it waxeth dry and exhaust.s But it is not good to look too long upon these turning wheels of vicissitude, lest we become giddy. As for the philology of them, that is but a circle of tales, and therefore not fit for this writing.
1 Fetch. To strike from a distance.
3 Arietation. The use of battering-rams.
3 Point. To appoint. See page 441.
4 Fields. Battles.
'And whilst a field should be dispatch'd and fought, You are disputing of your generals.'—Shakespere. * Rattles. Forces.
'What may the king's whole battle reach unto ?'—Shakespere.
6 Reduced. Subjected (to rule). 'The Romans reduced Spain, Gaul, and Britain by their arms.'— Ot/Uvie.
7 His. Its. See page 400.
s Exhaust. Exhausted. See page 87.
A FRAGMENT OF AN ESSAY ON FAME.
THE poets make Fame a monster; they describe her in part finely and elegantly, and in part gravely and sententiously; they say, look, how many feathers she hath, so many eyes she hath underneath, so many tongues, so many voices, she pricks up so many ears.
This is a flourish: there follow excellent parables; as that she gathereth strength in going: that she goeth upon the ground, and yet hideth her head in the clouds; that in the day-time she sitteth in a watch-tower, and flieth most by night; that she mingleth things done with things not done; and that she is a terror to great cities: but that which passeth all the rest is, they do recount that the earth, mother of the giants that made war against Jupiter, and were by him destroyed, thereupon in anger brought forth Fame; for certain it is that rebels, figured by the giants, and seditious fames1 and libels, are but brothers and sisters, masculine and feminine; but now if a man can tame this monster, and bring her to feed at the hand, and govern her, and with her fly2 other ravening* fowl and kill them, it is somewhat worth. But we are infected with the style of the poets. To speak now in a sad * and serious manner, there is not in all the politics a place less handled, and more worthy to be handled, than this of fame; we will therefore speak of these points; what are false fames, and what are true fames, and how they may be best discerned,6 how fames may be sown and raised, how they may be spread and multiplied, and how they may be checked and laid dead, and other
1 Fames. Reports; rumours. See page 140.
2 Fly. To fly at; to attack.
'Fly everything you see, and censure it freely.'—Sen Jonson. s Ravening. Predatory; rapacious. 'As a ravening and roaring lion.'— .Pa-, xxii. 13. * Sad. Orate.
'A sad, wise valour is the brave complexion That leads the van.'—Herbert. 5 Discerned. Distinguished. 'Then shalt thou return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that scrveth Ood and him that serveth Him not.'—Hal. iii. 18.